Supporting the Health and Well-Being of Older Adults in a COVID-19 World

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of the elderly population, particularly those who require caregiving for a health or functional limitation. A network of family, friends, and professionals provide care, and changes that challenge the availability of these resources can cause significant impacts on the health and well-being of older adults. Our titles explore the challenges of aging and the ways that science can expand our knowledge and inform decision making. As always, these publications are all free to download.

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System

Social isolation and loneliness are serious yet underappreciated public health risks that affect a significant portion of the older adult population. Approximately one-quarter of community-dwelling Americans aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated, and a significant proportion …[more]

Families Caring for an Aging America

Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our …[more]

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

For most Americans, staying “mentally sharp” as they age is a very high priority. Declines in memory and decision-making abilities may trigger fears of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, cognitive aging is a natural process that can have both positive and negative …[more]

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. We now know that brain changes typically begin years before people show symptoms, which suggests a window of opportunity to prevent or delay the onset of these …[more]

Future Directions for the Demography of Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Future Directions for the Demography of Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Almost 25 years have passed since the Demography of Aging (1994) was published by the National Research Council. Future Directions for the Demography of Aging is, in many ways, the successor to that original volume. The Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National …[more]

Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop

Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop

Many different groups of people are subject to stereotypes. Positive stereotypes (e.g., “older and wiser”) may provide a benefit to the relevant groups. However, negative stereotypes of aging and of disability continue to persist and, in some cases, remain socially acceptable. Research has …[more]

New Directions in the Sociology of Aging

New Directions in the Sociology of Aging

The aging of the population of the United States is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes. These economic changes include consideration of increases in the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare and possible changes in benefit levels. Furthermore, changes in the …[more]

Fostering Independence, Participation, and Healthy Aging Through Technology: Workshop Summary

Fostering Independence, Participation, and Healthy Aging Through Technology: Workshop Summary

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) have had prominent roles in discussions of aging, disability, and technology for decades. In 1978, Aging and Medical Education (IOM, 1978) raised national awareness of the challenges to physicians posed by the aging of the …[more]

Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

In September 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to examine trends and patterns in aging and factors related to healthy aging in the United States, with a focus on nutrition, and how nutrition can sustain and promote healthy aging, not just in …[more]

Nutrition and Healthy Aging in the Community: Workshop Summary

Nutrition and Healthy Aging in the Community: Workshop Summary

The U.S. population of older adults is predicted to grow rapidly as “baby boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) begin to reach 65 years of age. Simultaneously, advancements in medical care and improved awareness of healthy lifestyles have led to longer life expectancies. The Census Bureau …[more]

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care …[more]

Science on Policing and the Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation of Evidence in the Justice System

“Policing is primarily shaped by two public expectations. First, the police are called on to deal with crime and disorder, preventing them when possible, and to bring to account those who disobey the law. Second, the public expects their police to be impartial, producing justice through the fair, effective, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success in meeting these expectations have become more exacting and challenging, and police agencies today must find ways to respond in an effective, affordable, and legitimate way” – Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence, 2004

Communities across our nation are reevaluating policing goals, methods, and procedures.  Evidence-based science can provide guidance as our nation seeks to address challenges and opportunities facing law enforcement and our justice system.  Fair and effective policing must ensure that evidence is not contaminated or collected in a biased manner.  Similarly, it is critical that evidence submitted in a courtroom is evaluated on the basis of scientific merit. The following  publications recommend best practices for policing and evidence analysis and evaluation. All are free to read online or download.

Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities

Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities

Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism …[more]

Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence

Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence

Because police are the most visible face of government power for most citizens, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Producing justice through the fair, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success have …[more]

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification makes the case that better data collection and research on eyewitness identification, new law enforcement training protocols, standardized procedures for administering line-ups, and improvements in the handling of eyewitness …[more]

Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, assists judges in managing cases involving complex scientific and technical evidence by describing the basic tenets of key scientific fields from which legal evidence is typically derived and by providing examples of cases in …[more]

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are …[more]

The Science Behind Preparing for Hurricane Season: Resources to Promote Resilience


We’re about to enter into the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1st through November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes – category 3, 4 or 5. In the face of the catastrophic damage that a major hurricane can cause, even prepared communities can be overwhelmed. Our reports provide guidelines and targeted resources for all stakeholders in disaster response, including state and local governments, emergency medical services and health care centers. As always, all are free to download.

Strengthening Post-Hurricane Supply Chain Resilience: Observations from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Resilient supply chains are crucial to maintaining the consistent delivery of goods and services to the American people. The modern economy has made supply chains more interconnected than ever, while also expanding both their range and fragility. In the third quarter of 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, …

[more]

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Following a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, that revealed shortcomings in the nation’s ability to effectively alert populations at risk, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act in 2006. Today, new technologies such as smart phones and …

[more]

Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences Within the Weather Enterprise

Our ability to observe and forecast severe weather events has improved markedly over the past few decades. Forecasts of snow and ice storms, hurricanes and storm surge, extreme heat, and other severe weather events are made with greater accuracy, geographic specificity, and lead time to allow …

[more]

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …

[more]

Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation’s Investment

The academic biomedical research community is a hub of employment, economic productivity, and scientific progress. Academic research institutions are drivers of economic development in their local and state economies and, by extension, the national economy. Beyond the economic input that the …

[more]

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some …

[more]

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation …

[more]

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal communities from sea level rise and possible …

[more]

Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety programs to consider community- and regional-level …

[more]

A Food System for the 21st Century


The daily activity of producing, preparing, and consuming food links our health with the health of the planet in both direct and indirect ways. Local and domestic food supplies are part of an increasingly interconnected globalized food production system. Our titles explore the state of the food system with a focus on ensuring a safe, nutritious, and consistent food supply. As always, all are free to download.

Stronger Food and Drug Regulatory Systems Abroad

Ensuring the safety of food and the quality and safety of medicines in a country is an important role of government, made more complicated by global manufacturing and international trade. By recent estimates, unsafe food kills over 400,000 people a year, a third of them children under 5, mostly …

[more]

Innovations in the Food System: Exploring the Future of Food: Proceedings of a Workshop

On August 7–8, 2019, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a public workshop in Washington, DC, to review the status of current and emerging knowledge about innovations for modern food systems and strategies for meeting future needs. The workshop addressed …

[more]

A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System

How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans’ well-being than any other human activity. The food industry is the largest sector of our economy; food touches everything from our health to the environment, climate change, economic inequality, and the federal budget. From the …

[more]

Sustainable Diets, Food, and Nutrition: Proceedings of a Workshop

On August 1 and 2, 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a public workshop in Washington, DC, on sustainable diets, food, and nutrition. Workshop participants reviewed current and emerging knowledge on the concept of sustainable diets within the field of food …

[more]

Sustainable Diets: Food for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet: Workshop Summary

One of the many benefits of the U.S. food system is a safe, nutritious, and consistent food supply. However, the same system also places significant strain on land, water, air, and other natural resources. A better understanding of the food-environment synergies and trade-offs associated with …

[more]

Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration

Recent outbreaks of illnesses traced to contaminated sprouts and lettuce illustrate the holes that exist in the system for monitoring problems and preventing foodborne diseases. Although it is not solely responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply, the U.S. Food and Drug …

[more]

Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary

Globalization of the food supply has created conditions favorable for the emergence, reemergence, and spread of food-borne pathogens-compounding the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and effectively responding to food-borne threats to health. In the United States, food-borne agents affect 1 …

[more]

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

In the last 20 years, there has been a remarkable emergence of innovations and technological advances that are generating promising changes and opportunities for sustainable agriculture, yet at the same time the agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous daunting challenges. Not only is the …

[more]

Managing Food Safety Practices from Farm to Table: Workshop Summary

Legal regulations and manufacturers’ monitoring practices have not been enough to prevent contamination of the national food supply and protect consumers from serious harm. In addressing food safety risks, regulators could perhaps better ensure the quality and safety of food by monitoring food …

[more]

When Science Meets the Public, Communication Matters


As we turn to science for answers and explanations to understand and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very clear that a number of influences—psychological, economic, political, social, cultural, and media-related— determine how contentious issues in science are understood and perceived. Successful scientists must be effective communicators within their professions and in political and social settings. Our publications synthesize research on communication and provide guidance to improve public engagement with science. As always, all are free to download.

Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other considerations as they make important life decisions about medical care, the safety of foods, what …

[more]

The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium

Successful scientists must be effective communicators within their professions. Without those skills, they could not write papers and funding proposals, give talks and field questions, or teach classes and mentor students. However, communicating with audiences outside their profession – people …

[more]

The Science of Science Communication II: Summary of a Colloquium

Successful scientists must be effective communicators within their professions. Without those skills, they could not write papers and funding proposals, give talks and field questions, or teach classes and mentor students. However, communicating with audiences outside their profession – people …

[more]

Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences

Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to science—whether using knowledge or creating it—necessitates …

[more]

Trust and Confidence at the Interfaces of the Life Sciences and Society: Does the Public Trust Science? A Workshop Summary

Does the public trust science? Scientists? Scientific organizations? What roles do trust and the lack of trust play in public debates about how science can be used to address such societal concerns as childhood vaccination, cancer screening, and a warming planet? What could happen if social …

[more]

Supporting Children and Families in Social Isolation

As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, children and families are dealing with disrupted routines, virtual classrooms, social distancing, and uncertainties about the near future. This can be especially challenging for families already dealing with problems such as physical or mental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse, or domestic violence. Coordination across traditional and nontraditional medical and public health stakeholders, including community organizations, schools, and other partners in municipal planning can support families during this time of need. Our publications can inform federal, state, and local policies and program development to reach out to at-risk families and enhance their resilience. As always, all are free to download.

Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity

Children are the foundation of the United States, and supporting them is a key component of building a successful future. However, millions of children face health inequities that compromise their development, well-being, and long-term outcomes, despite substantial scientific evidence about how …

[more]

Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth: A National Agenda

Healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) development is a critical foundation for a productive adulthood. Much is known about strategies to support families and communities in strengthening the MEB development of children and youth, by promoting healthy development and also by preventing …

[more]

Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health

The consistent and compelling evidence on how social determinants shape health has led to a growing recognition throughout the health care sector that improving health and health equity is likely to depend – at least in part – on mitigating adverse social determinants. This recognition has …

[more]

New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research

Each year, child protective services receive reports of child abuse and neglect involving six million children, and many more go unreported. The long-term human and fiscal consequences of child abuse and neglect are not relegated to the victims themselves — they also impact their families, …

[more]

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty

The strengths and abilities children develop from infancy through adolescence are crucial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, which in turn help them to achieve success in school and to become responsible, economically self-sufficient, and healthy adults. Capable, responsible, …

[more]

Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth

For children and youth, summertime presents a unique break from the traditional structure, resources, and support systems that exist during the school year. For some students, this time involves opportunities to engage in fun and enriching activities and programs, while others face additional …

[more]

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

In the United States, some populations suffer from far greater disparities in health than others. Those disparities are caused not only by fundamental differences in health status across segments of the population, but also because of inequities in factors that impact health status, so-called …

[more]

Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8

Decades of research have demonstrated that the parent-child dyad and the environment of the family—which includes all primary caregivers—are at the foundation of children’s well- being and healthy development. From birth, children are learning and rely on parents and the other caregivers …

[more]

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some …

[more]

Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention

Depression is a widespread condition affecting approximately 7.5 million parents in the U.S. each year and may be putting at least 15 million children at risk for adverse health outcomes. Based on evidentiary studies, major depression in either parent can interfere with parenting quality and …

[more]

Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families: Workshop Summary

Preparedness, Response and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families is the summary of a workshop convened in June, 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events to discuss disaster preparedness, response, and resilience …

[more]

Preventing Violence Against Women and Children: Workshop Summary

Violence against women and children is a serious public health concern, with costs at multiple levels of society. Although violence is a threat to everyone, women and children are particularly susceptible to victimization because they often have fewer rights or lack appropriate means of …

[more]

Communications and Technology for Violence Prevention: Workshop Summary

In the last 25 years, a major shift has occurred in the field of violence prevention, from the assumption that violence is inevitable to the realization that violence is preventable. As we learn more about what works to reduce violence, the challenge facing those who work in the field is how to …

[more]

Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect

The tragedy of child abuse and neglect is in the forefront of public attention. Yet, without a conceptual framework, research in this area has been highly fragmented. Understanding the broad dimensions of this crisis has suffered as a result.

This new volume provides a comprehensive, integrated, …

[more]

Science for Fighting a Pandemic: Coronavirus Resources

As the United States and other countries respond to the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the COVID-19 infectious disease, it is critical that science-based information guide public health strategies. Our publications provide guidance for federal, state, and local public health officials, transportation officials, and policy makers as they grapple with this crisis. As always, all are free to read online or download. For additional publications, please visit our Coronavirus Resources Collection.

Exploring Lessons Learned from a Century of Outbreaks: Readiness for 2030: Proceedings of a Workshop

In November 2018, an ad hoc planning committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine planned two sister workshops held in Washington, DC, to examine the lessons from influenza pandemics and other major outbreaks, understand the extent to which the lessons have been …

[more]

Stronger Food and Drug Regulatory Systems Abroad

Ensuring the safety of food and the quality and safety of medicines in a country is an important role of government, made more complicated by global manufacturing and international trade. By recent estimates, unsafe food kills over 400,000 people a year, a third of them children under 5, mostly …

[more]

Reusable Elastomeric Respirators in Health Care: Considerations for Routine and Surge Use

Protecting the health and safety of health care workers is vital to the health of each of us. Preparing for and responding to a future influenza pandemic or to a sustained outbreak of an airborne transmissible disease requires a high-level commitment to respiratory protection for health care …

[more]

Emergency Working Groups at Airports

Airports—especially in the past two decades—have generally sought to promote and increase collaboration among the members of the airport community, particularly between an airport and its airlines. One metric of this trend has been the increase in the number of U.S. airports with full-time …

[more]

Airport Roles in Reducing Transmission of Communicable Diseases

TRB’s Conference Proceedings 55: Airport Roles in Reducing Transmission of Communicable Diseases summarizes a 2-day Insight Event convened by the Airport Cooperative Research Program and its Insight contractor, Eastern Research Group, Inc., March 6 and 7, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The event …

[more]

Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop

Building communication capacity is a critical piece of preparing for, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats. The International Health Regulations (IHR) establish risk communication—the real-time exchange of information, advice, and opinions between experts or officials and …

[more]

Engaging the Private-Sector Health Care System in Building Capacity to Respond to Threats to the Public’s Health and National Security: Proceedings of a Workshop

Disasters tend to cross political, jurisdictional, functional, and geographic boundaries. As a result, disasters often require responses from multiple levels of government and multiple organizations in the public and private sectors. This means that public and private organizations that normally …

[more]

Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 83: Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights examines current disease preparedness and response practices at U.S. and Canadian airports in coordination with public health officers and partners. While larger …

[more]

The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the health sector. Education, child protection, …

[more]

Emerging Viral Diseases: The One Health Connection: Workshop Summary

In the past half century, deadly disease outbreaks caused by novel viruses of animal origin – Nipah virus in Malaysia, Hendra virus in Australia, Hantavirus in the United States, Ebola virus in Africa, along with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), several influenza subtypes, and the SARS …

[more]

Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response: Volume 1: Introduction and CSC Framework

Catastrophic disasters occurring in 2011 in the United States and worldwide–from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the earthquake in New Zealand–have demonstrated that even prepared communities can be overwhelmed. In 2009, at the height of the …

[more]

One-Year Anniversary for Landmark Report on Child Poverty


Millions of American children live in families with incomes below the poverty line. A robust body of evidence suggests that a lack of adequate family economic resources compromises children’s ability to grow and achieve success in adulthood, hurting them and the broader society as well. Recognizing this challenge to America’s future, congress asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a comprehensive study of the cost of child poverty in the United States, and to identify evidence-based programs and policies for reducing the number of children living in poverty by half within 10 years. One year ago today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its groundbreaking report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. In the past year, this report has been the subject of Congressional briefings and significant media coverage.

This report is one of a group of recent publications that promote the health and well-being of all children and youth. All are free to download.

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty

The strengths and abilities children develop from infancy through adolescence are crucial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, which in turn help them to achieve success in school and to become responsible, economically self-sufficient, and healthy adults. Capable, responsible, …

[more]

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

Adolescence—beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which key areas of the brain mature and develop. These changes in brain structure, function, and connectivity mark adolescence as a period of opportunity to discover new …

[more]

Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity

Children are the foundation of the United States, and supporting them is a key component of building a successful future. However, millions of children face health inequities that compromise their development, well-being, and long-term outcomes, despite substantial scientific evidence about how …

[more]

Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth

For children and youth, summertime presents a unique break from the traditional structure, resources, and support systems that exist during the school year. For some students, this time involves opportunities to engage in fun and enriching activities and programs, while others face additional …

[more]

Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth: A National Agenda

Healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) development is a critical foundation for a productive adulthood. Much is known about strategies to support families and communities in strengthening the MEB development of children and youth, by promoting healthy development and also by preventing …

[more]

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

In the United States, some populations suffer from far greater disparities in health than others. Those disparities are caused not only by fundamental differences in health status across segments of the population, but also because of inequities in factors that impact health status, so-called …

[more]

Engineering Solutions for 21st Century Challenges: Promoting a Strong Engineering Workforce Through Education and Opportunity


No profession unleashes the spirit of innovation like engineering. From research to real-world applications, engineers constantly discover how to improve our lives by creating bold new solutions that connect science to life in unexpected, forward-thinking ways. As we celebrate Engineers Week, here’s a list of our publications that explore ways to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce and address emerging issues in engineering and technology education.

Building Capacity for Teaching Engineering in K-12 Education

Engineering education is emerging as an important component of US K-12 education. Across the country, students in classrooms and after- and out-of-school programs are participating in hands-on, problem-focused learning activities using the engineering design process. These experiences can be …

[more]

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. …

[more]

Frontiers of Materials Research: A Decadal Survey

Modern materials science builds on knowledge from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer and data science, and engineering sciences to enable us to understand, control, and expand the material world. Although it is anchored in inquiry-based fundamental science, materials research is …

[more]

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

Mentorship is a catalyst capable of unleashing one’s potential for discovery, curiosity, and participation in STEMM and subsequently improving the training environment in which that STEMM potential is fostered. Mentoring relationships provide developmental spaces in which students’ STEMM skills …

[more]

Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce

There are over 20 million young people of color in the United States whose representation in STEM education pathways and in the STEM workforce is still far below their numbers in the general population. Their participation could help re-establish the United States’ preeminence in STEM …

[more]

Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments

The field of computer science (CS) is currently experiencing a surge in undergraduate degree production and course enrollments, which is straining program resources at many institutions and causing concern among faculty and administrators about how best to respond to the rapidly growing demand. …

[more]

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those participating in these fields, particularly the participation …

[more]

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students’ Diverse Pathways

Nearly 40 percent of the students entering 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions indicated their intention to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 2012. But the barriers to students realizing their ambitions are reflected in the fact that about half of those …

[more]

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss the current status of women of color in academia …

[more]

Understanding the Educational and Career Pathways of Engineers

Engineering skills and knowledge are foundational to technological innovation and development that drive long-term economic growth and help solve societal challenges. Therefore, to ensure national competitiveness and quality of life it is important to understand and to continuously adapt and …

[more]

Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action

For those in the broad engineering community–those who employ, work with, and/or educate engineers, and engineers themselves–there is no need to explain the importance and value of engineering. They understand that engineers help make the world a better place for all, that they regularly …

[more]

Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering

Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the ‘innovation engine’. A related concern is how to encourage young people–particularly girls and under-represented minorities–to …

[more]

For Darwin Day, Resources to Communicate the Concepts of Evolution


The ideas of Charles Darwin and the concept of evolution by natural selection continue to have a profound influence on modern biology – they permeate almost every area of scientific exploration. The Academies have long been involved in educational activities and publications on many aspects of evolution. As we celebrate Darwin Day, visit our list of reports below that can help communicate the concepts of evolution.

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other …

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Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other considerations as they make important life …

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Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences: Summary of a Convocation

Evolution is the central unifying theme of biology. Yet today, more than a century and a half after Charles Darwin proposed the idea of evolution through natural selection, the topic is often relegated to a handful of chapters in textbooks and a …

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A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position in the global economy is declining, in part …

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Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science

Today many school students are shielded from one of the most important concepts in modern science: evolution. In engaging and conversational style, Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science provides a well-structured framework …

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Evolution in Hawaii: A Supplement to ‘Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science’

As both individuals and societies, we are making decisions today that will have profound consequences for future generations. From preserving Earth’s plants and animals to altering our use of fossil fuels, none of these decisions can be made …

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